Office on Status of Woman Gender Audit ; Centre for Conflict Resolution: briefing

Meeting Summary

A summary of this committee meeting is not yet available.

Meeting report

Joint Monitoring Committee on Improvement of Quality of Life Status of Women [Briefing by Office on Status of Woman: Gender Au

26 September 2003

Chairperson: Ms L M T Xingwana

Relevant Documents:
Progress of the World's Women 2002, Volume 1, Executive Summary, "Women, War and Peace
Status of Gender Focal Points in National Departments Audit April 2002
Permanent Mission of South Africa to the United Nations Statement by Ms Susan Nkomo (Hard Copy only please e-mail for document)
"An African Campaign" Posed by the Recent UNIFEM Report on Women, War and Peace - Alison Lazarus (Appendix)

The Committee was briefed on the Office of Status of Women 2002 Audit, which had been delayed numerous times. The Women, War and Peace Report was endorsed with minor changes. The committee requested the audit and committed to assisting the OSW with functional issues, which were hampering the mainstreaming of gender.

Submission the Status of Gender Focal Points in National Departments Audit April 2002 Office of Status of Women (OSW)
Ms Susan Nkomo (Chief Executive Officer OSW) presented the Audit on Gender Focal Points. The Audit dealt with how the National Gender Policy Frameworks were being implemented. The national framework was very clear about where the gender focal points should be and the implementation of the official mainstreaming of gender. The audit was an attempt to see the level of compliance with the framework.

Ms M Semple (DA) interrupted the presenter and asked for the document that was being presented. It would be more effective if the members could read the report and then discuss the contents.

Ms Xingwana ruled that Ms Nkomo would be allowed to finish her presentation although the committee did not have the document.

Ms Nkomo said that even if all governments complied with the national framework the institutional framework was too insufficient to enable personnel to mainstream gender. Gender mainstreaming in South Africa did not comply because the GFP (Gender Focal Points) did not have budgets thus not keeping up with the constitutional mandate of gender mainstreaming.

Please refer to presentation attached.

Ms Xingwana agreed that the access granted to Gender Focal Points to director generals was not being complied with. The figure of compliance had dropped from 19% four years ago (1998) to 8% in 2002. On the provincial visits the committee had discovered some of the issues mentioned in Ms Nkomo's report. The committee would pass on their report to the OSW. The committee had found the grouping of issues such as gender, HIV/AIDS, youth, the disabled into one category. Information was asked for about the status of the OSW at national, provincial and local levels.

Ms Semple (DA) clarified that the Audit being presented was an audit from 2002. Was the audit done every year because the audit being presented was eighteen months ago and many changes could occur in that time?

Ms Nkomo explained that the figures were outdated but she had been asked to present on the Audit of 2002 that had not been heard. The OSW was very aware of the changes that had taken place. The departments of correctional services and trade and industry had gone beyond the minimum requirements by appointing a GFP at director level. There was a GFP meeting with the OSW every two months and individual meetings held every month. The next national gender machinery meeting would update the audit.

Ms M S Maine (ANC) followed up the question by stating that the figure of 8% of departments complying was incorrect. She suggested that the committee should wait until the next audit was done.

Ms Xingwana (ANC) asked for comments about the updated version.

Ms Nkomo clarified that she could give the updated figures. She added that she needed the committee to help raise awareness on the issues that the OSW was facing.

Ms Malamusi (ANC) asked how often an audit was meant to be done.

Ms Nkomo explained that the OSW was under no obligation to do an audit. The OSW embarked on the initiative themselves because the office felt it was important to monitor progress. There was no incentive to do an audit.

Ms S M Camerer (ANC) asked how often.

Ms Nkomo said that the OSW tried to do an audit as often as possible. There was limited staff to work with.

Ms Xingwana said that a report was needed often because South Africa was a signatory of CEDAW and Beijing + 5 (1995).

Ms Semple commented that if it was easy to update the figures, why had Ms Nkomo not updated them?

Ms Xingwana said that the report would be sent to all the committee members.

Ms F Mohamed (ANC) asked about the political power that the OSW had in order to ensure fundamental change to departments that did not comply with the national mandate.

Ms Nkomo said that the political weight of the OSW was not consistent throughout all the departments. The OSW worked with progressive departments that were willing to work with the office.

Ms Mohamed said that the OSW was a very important office. The OSW would not be able to make inroads into departments that were not complying with the mandate.

Ms Nkomo said that the OSW had tried other mechanisms. The Minister had written to the departments to remind them about the commitment to gender mainstreaming in order to get them to comply and cooperate with the OSW.

Ms Semple asked for the specific departments to be named. Committee members would be able to take the specific departments to their other committee meetings.

Ms Nkomo agreed to get a current list to the committee together with updated figures immediately.

Ms Xingwana said that the information about each department would be posted to members. Ms Nkomo was asked to give an update on provincial and national OSWs.

Ms Camerer questioned the indication that work had been started on a report on CEDAW for Beijing + 10 (to take place in 2005). The committee had been excluded before. Would this committee be involved in the process?

Ms Nkomo explained that the report would be dealt with at the national gender mainstreaming meeting (NGM). There had been a process where two reports were currently being worked on. The first one was the National Country Report and the second one was a shadow report compiled by the NGO sector. At the beginning of the year the report had been circulated. Four reports were in the process of being written. First - CEDAW, Second report - Beijing + 10, Third Report - Dakar +10 and Fourth Report - 10 Years of Freedom in South Africa (What had happened for women in 10 years). The OSW had used the frameworks from STATS SA. There should be a draft process by the 29 October 2003 at the NGM. In November parliamentary processes should start hearing processes on the draft. Provinces had been through the same process through "Conversations of Women". There would be a draft on the 29 October to Cabinet.

Ms Xingwana informed the committee that Ms Semple, Ms M P Themba and herself had attended the previous NGM. They had agreed that a draft report was needed at parliament. They had also agreed to the committee holding public hearings. They would find ways to take it to the provinces.

Ms Nkomo explained that on the issue of OSWs at provincial and national level there was no prescription for OSWs at provincial level because of the issue of autonomy of provinces. The national policy framework prescribed the position of the gender machinery framework whilst still giving provinces autonomy. No decisions had been taken at Executive level but the standard practice was that OSWs were deputy directors. The GFP would be the assistant to the deputy director. This issue was further hampered by the fluid mobility of people who were trained for these positions.

Ms Xingwana asked if Ms Nkomo had any recommendations.

Ms Nkomo stated the recommendations as the need to have Executive committees in each province stating the level of the OSW. The OSW at provincial level should be at director level. This would combine the intra development program and the action plan for gender and the higher position would allow personnel to do work effectively.

Ms Maloney gave the example of resignations occurring because personnel in this position felt that they were reaching a ceiling.

Ms Xingwana said that the Committee should discuss the issue of OSWs being at director level and the recommendations for GFP. The Chair reminded the committee about their findings on their provincial visits.

Ms Maine reported to Ms Nkomo that their meetings with GFP had told them that they were not receiving information from their national counterparts. The lack of a job description was also a problem.

Ms Nkomo expressed confusion because they had regular meetings with the provincial OSW coordinators.

Ms Maine explained that the report was directed at the lack of information from the departments and not the OSW.

Ms Nkomo said that on the issue of job descriptions, coordinators were assisted during the training to write up their job descriptions together with terms of reference. Personnel in human resources departments did not understand gender mainstreaming so the terms of reference they used did not reflect the issue. The gender mainstreaming staff had to work in environments with inadequate supervision, which was a difficult work environment.

Ms Mohammed asked about the capacity problems of women and how they performed. There should be some training because of the lack of capacity in leadership.

Ms Nkomo explained that a lot of time was spent on training (UN and training team). The level of appointment required a lot of training. The level of position was a real issue because the departments were sending people to be trained who found it difficult to do the job.

Ms Xingwana proposed that the committee return to the issue at a later stage. They would invite the OSW, the provincial OSWs and GFPs to report to the committee. The committee was committed to the work of the OSW and they wanted to see transformation. More organisation was needed in regards to OSWs.

Ms D G Nhlengethwa (ANC) requested the reports in sufficient time for members to discuss the report in their study groups.

Ms Nkomo reiterated that the OSW needed the assistance of the committee. She would give the committee an executive summary, the figures of 1998, 2001 and the current situation.

Submission on Progress of the World's Women 2002: Women, War, Peace
Ms Alison Lazarus (Centre for Conflict Resolution) presented her submission as a brainstorming session, recommendations, requests and the opportunity for cooperation with a Great Lakes Region. Her submission of "Women, War and Peace" was made up of three UN Report responses to issues of war. These were Women War and Peace, Human Security Now and the Responsibility to Protect. She focussed on recommendations. The submission introduced and lobbied for an African Council of Mediators made up of women to assist in peace negotiating in time of conflict.

See refer to Appendix.

Ms Maloney asked about the recommendation regarding the truth and reconciliation commission (TRC). Not all countries had signed the review and it was an important issue therefore it should stand alone as a structure.

Ms Lazarus explained that the TRC was for violence against women in conflict. It was a structure that was meant to complement the structures of justice and court. There was a need for other methods to assist with healing countries after conflict. The report had suggested a national TRC. The issue was whether the TRC created space for women within the TRC. They would have to be creative about that whilst dealing with issues of the continental place of the TRC. More brainstorming was needed around the issue.

Ms Mohamed asked about the prevention of conflict. There were challenges with the Security Council and what was needed was the reformation of multilateral organs. What would be the role of the pan African parliament in conflict resolution?

Ms Lazarus agreed that multilateral institutions needed to be reformed. The issue involved cooperation between activism inside the structures, access to the structures and the role of civil society. The African parliament was an opportunity to push legislation that could move because it could be crucial to conflict resolution processes.

Dr D C Mabena (ANC) asked where the point of access was for women into the structures that were fighting?

Ms Lazarus said that an entry point was the African Council of Mediators (ACM), which would be responsible for getting women from the village involved. The council had not yet been established. The Council had to establish relationships that had relevant structures and defined criteria that protected the structure. The ACM was a structure that had to be lobbied for.

Ms Xingwana said that it was important for women to be part of peace processes. Women should have access to peace making initiatives with power.

Ms Lazarus commented that the ACM would prevent the trend of the reluctance to use women in peace making initiatives. The request from the women in the Great Lakes (Rwanda, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Uganda supported this. They motivated for South African support for the peace negotiating initiative and the involvement of South Africa in the mission to Burundi and DRC. The mission was based on the concepts of speaking truth to power.

Ms Maine questioned the process. She asked how the committee could look at supporting the women from the region. She asked for proposals because a lot of work needed to be done around preparing the community to accept people particularly children who were involved in the war.

Ms Lazarus said that the there were initiatives on the ground that dealt with the reintegration of children into communities. Besides being punitive there was also space for reintegration (NGOs) and community processes that complemented the punitive aspect. There was always too much to do with too little resources. Mechanisms needed to be put up to deal with reintegration. The AU had to be part of that because enabling environments were needed.

Dr Mabena found the recommendations impressive. She felt that the recommendations dealt with the outcomes of war. Was there another way to be proactive as opposed to reactive.

Ms Lazarus said that the ACM would be a key role in peace conflicts. However it did have a particular role and that would be to provide mediators because there was a specific skill required to be a mediator. Early warnings of conflict were part of a peace building approach. They had to distinguish between a structure to call on woman to stop the violence and community peace keeping. The ACM would play a limited excruciatingly difficult role.

Ms Mohamed asked what role the pan African's Women's Organisation and the Moral Regeneration Movement could play.

Ms L M Komape-Ngwenya (ANC) asked about the ACM and how the same principle could be used to motivate a criterion for the eradication of domestic violence (DV). South Africa still had a long way to go regarding gender-based violence. The rural areas were a serious issue regarding this.

Ms Nhlengethwa asked how far the women's movement was.

Ms Maloney suggested that the committee could network around these issues of women and war to assist by giving useful information. She used the example of Afghanistan and the underground schools.

Ms Xingwana asked a question linked to Ms Mohamed. What role could the organs of the AU (African Court) play? The Chair ruled that Ms Lazarus would not be able to answer all the questions because the committee had to vote. The committee was asked to look at the resolutions on section "Recommendations From the report on Women, War and Peace in "An African Campaign, posed by the recent UNIFEM Report on Women, War and Peace'. What would be adopted or amended. The idea of a TRC in Africa was endorsed together with the establishment of an ACM. The idea of training women and supporting women was endorsed. In principle the committee supported the relationship suggested by the women of the Great Lakes Region. The mission of women leaders to Burundi and DRC should happen soon.

Ms Maloney suggested that the committee should add that there should be a review of the structures to check their performances. The review should be linked to a peer review to ensure that they were effective.

Ms Lazarus pointed out that Ms Maloney's point linked to the issue of DV. The establishment of indicators would be important.

Ms Semple stated that her party did not agree with quotas she agreed to all the other recommendations.

Ms Xingwana stated that women were where they were because of quotas. Point 1 to 7 was endorsed and the abstain vote on point 7 was noted.

Ms Mohammed felt that the 'reformation of multilateral institutions' should be added.

Ms Xingwana asked if it should be a different point.

Ms Mabena said that structure was very important. The adoption of the name TRC had to be dealt with carefully because South Africa had been dealing with different issues. It was important to move away from the criticisms of the South African TRC.

Ms Xingwana understood Ms Mabena's concern. The point could be adopted in principle and the naming issues could be dealt with at a later stage. Therefore training had been supported together with the strengthening of relations between Rwanda and Burundi. The ACM had also been supported.

Ms Mohamed repeated her concern with multilateral organisations. They had a powerful impact on women's lives. She recommended that a principle should be 'women's roles in organisations such as the World Bank, World Health Organisation etc'.

Ms Xingwana asked if it was not covered in the first point.

Ms Mohammed agreed that it could be linked there.

Ms Maloney said that South Africa supported their first lady and her involvement in peace initiatives. She suggested that the committee should push all AU first ladies taking the mandate.

Ms Xingwana said that the committee should just concentrate on South Africa. The women in the Great Lakes Region had specifically asked for South Africa's first lady. Going beyond that would get difficult.

Ms Morutoa supported the seven-point recommendations.

Ms Xingwana noted that the committee supported the tabling of the recommendations in parliament followed by a debate. The report was endorsed with a few additions and changes to the Great Lakes session.

The meeting was adjourned.

"An African Campaign" Posed by the Recent UNIFEM Report


Women, War and Peace

By Alison Lazarus

On the 16 May 2003, Hon. Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, Minister of Women and Children's Welfare of Namibia, together with Hon. Dr. Frene Ginwala, the Speaker of the South African National Assembly and Ms Noeleen Heyzer, Executive Director of UNIFEM, launched the report entitled Women War and Peace written by Elisabeth Rehn and Ellen Johnston Sirleaf , in the South African Parliament. The choice of venue and partners involved was inspired by the activism of African women in the run up to the successful passing of Resolution 1325 by the UN Security Council under the chairship of Namibia in October 2000.

The UNIFEM report was closely followed by a feedback session on a report entitled Human Security Now by the UN Commission on Human Security on which Dr. Ginwala served as a commissioner. The reportback session to civil society groupings in Africa was held on the 26-27 May 2003 in Pretoria and was hosted by the speaker and other commissioners under the auspices of the Africa Institute.

The recommendations of these reports are centred in a deeper and more nuanced understanding of security. Traditionally discussions on security have focussed on the security of the state in the context of inter-state threats to peace. In this context security was characterised by the capacity of the state to protect itself militarily from attack from the outside. However, often the threat to insecurity comes from within the borders of the country and from the abuses and weaknesses of the state itself. States become the perpetrators of insecurity on its people within its borders through violations of human rights and prevention of human development.

The 20th century has shown the growing role of the state as an instrument of elites in creating insecurity. It has also seen the shifting of the terrain of war from that between combatants to a war on civilians. In the latter 60 years of the 20th century we have seen insecurity created by extreme human rights violations such as the violation of right to food through scorched earth policies in war and unfair and exploitative trade relations, the violation of the right to safety and shelter and nationality through forceful displacement of people through ethnic cleansing and the expulsion of communities from resource rich areas by regimes and war lords, the violation of freedom of association through a bans on political activity and violent expression of intolerance . We have seen the violation of the right to dignity respect and freedom of religious and cultural practice through various forms of violent "othering" of communities. We have also witnessed weak states, the collapse of states and its inability to enhance the development of the world's people. " As many as 800 million people in the developing world and at least 24 million people in developed and transition economies do not have enough food" (Human Security Now report, pg 14). If this is the case, when do people get to dream and create?

It therefore becomes necessary to define security in new ways. Human Security as a concept offers us an extended concept of security. It is characterised by being centred on the security of human beings and communities. It promotes three freedoms : freedom from fear, freedom from want and freedom to choose. The state as an actor must be assessed against its intention and willingness in promoting or threatening human security. It is against these three criteria that one should also evaluate the work we do as conflict resolution trainers and civil society actors. We have to ask ourselves to what extent are we creating these freedoms through our work, to what extent is our work rooted in this extended definition of human security. And as feminists we have to ask does this human security in it practice and benefits, extend to women?

Recommendations From the report on Women, War and Peace

The Report Women, War and Peace offers recommendations in ten areas:

  • Violence against women,
  • Refugees and displaced women
  • War and women's health
  • Peace operations
  • Organising for peace
  • Justice
  • Media and communications
  • Prevention of conflict and
  • Reconstruction

I will not go into all the recommendation here but will highlight those on organising for peace. All sixty-three recommendations deserve our full attention. But I start off with the premise that as civil society actors, we will take up the recommendations that most apply to our particular work and activism. Mine is in building peace working with senior government officials and in institutions.

On page 14, the report calls for ( pg 144):

  1. The Secretary General of the UN to give priority to achieving gender parity in his appointments of Special Representatives and Envoys beginning with the minimum of 30% in the next three years with a view to parity in 2015.
  2. Gender equality to be recognised in all peace processes, agreements and transitional governance structures with a minimum of 30% representations of women in all negotiations.
  3. Establishment of a United Nations Trust Fund for Women's Peace-Building. The fund to be used to leverage political, financial and technical support needed for women's civil society organisations and women leaders to have an impact on peace efforts. UNIFEM to manage the fund with other UN agencies.
  4. UNIFEM and DPA to ensure that gender issues and women's full participation are incorporated in peacebuilding, post conflict reconstruction. UNIFEM and UN Population Fund (UNFPA) to be represented in all relevant inter-agency bodies.
  5. Peace Negotiations and agreements to have a gender perspective through the full integration of women's concerns and participation.
  6. UN and donors to invest in women's organisation as a strategy for conflict prevention, resolution and peace-building . They should exercise flexibility in responding to urgent needs, time-sensitive opportunities and foster partnerships and networks between international, regional and national initiatives.
  7. National electoral laws and international electoral assistance to establish quotas to achieve gender parity, ensure voter registration, education and increase the ratio of women in electoral commissions, observer missions and provide training for women candidates.

Content for an Feminist African Campaign

The suggestions below are offered in the knowledge that different conflict resolution and transformation agencies will take up recommendation particular to their focus areas. What follows is my view of what would constitute a regional campaign that would create an enabling environment for us to enhance our particular focus of work. The suggestion of a campaign should take into account continental developments such as the incomplete establishment of organs of the African Union( Pan African Parliament, Peace and Security Council ), the still to be fully defined and constituted relationship between NEPAD and the AU and the soon to be implemented African Peer Review Mechanism. Among the sixty-three recommendation of the report, I would like to suggest we concentrate on the following as African feminists in pursuit of peace on the continent.

  1. An International Truth and Reconciliation Commission on violence against women in armed conflict as a step towards ending impunity. The suggestion in the report is that this structure be convened by civil society with support from the international community to fill historical gaps that have left crimes unrecorded and unaddressed. We should support this internationally. Moreover as African feminists we should establish a continental structure but model a joint government and civil society initiative. Could this find a place within the Peace and Security Council? I think we could rethink some aspects of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) and include within the peer review evaluation a regional TRC structure on violence against women in armed conflict. Further decreasing and eradicating domestic violence should be a criteria against which countries will be reviewed an the necessary criteria and indicators developed and integrated into the peer review.

  3. All asylum policies to be reformed to take into account gender-based political persecution. At a regional level we should push for this. The African Union should have a common policy on this since the nature of refugee flows is that it goes beyond national borders.

  5. Immediate provision of contraception and STI treatment for rape survivors to prevent unwanted pregnancies and protect the health of women. This should be a regional binding provision.
  6. Clear guidelines for HIV prevention in peacekeeping. The report recommends that counseling and testing should be provided for all contingent forces and civilian personnel participating in emergency and peace operations before and during deployment on a regular basis. HIV prevention and gender training should be provided in all missions and to all personnel.
  7. Gender experts to be included in all levels and aspects of peace operations
  8. Gender equality in constitutional, legislative and policy reforms. In this regard, I suggest we put our weight behind strengthening the idea and development of the Pan African Parliament and establish a regional training initiative for Women in Politics. The initiative will concentrate on developing women as professionals ( ie to do the job of political work) with passion ( including feminist causes) and who re-define and engage with power in new ways.
  9. Hate media, under any circumstances, to be prosecuted by national and international courts when used for direct and public incitement to commit crimes against women.
  10. The Security Council to formulate a plan for the least diversion for armaments of the world's human and economic resources. In this regard the Peace and Security Council of the AU should bind all members and those nvolved in the APRM to this and include it as part of the review.
  11. Establishment of macro-economic policies in post conflict reconstruction that prioritize the public provision of food, water, sanitation, health and energy, the key sectors in which women provide unpaid labour.
  12. As part of this African Campaign, I also suggest that we establish

  13. A Council of African Women Mediators, over and above our full participation in all the organs of the African Union, legitimised and dignified by a consuktative status with the Peace and Security Council. This should be the only organsiation with consulltative status with the Peace and security Council. All other NGOs, women's structures and relevant stakeholder groupings should apply to ECOSOC of the AU for accreditation. The Couincil of African Women Mediators as a the structure will dominantly comprise women who are not in formal politics . Such a structure will offer women nationally a chance to have women of high standing on the continent to bring their influence to bear in resolving conflicts women may encounter with national governments, rebel movements and war lords. It will also form a pool from which the AU can draw women AU envoys in touch with community and societal conflicts and who have demonstrable skills to mediate. This Council will also provide the link between women in government and those in informal politics. We need to create a way for women in formal structures to dialogue with and be held accountable to a broader women's moment on the continent. The structure will offer critical support and critical distance to women in formal AU structures.

How might our work contribute to such a regional campaign?

The Senior Government Project at the Centre for Conflict Resolution, Cape Town

I co-ordinate and train on the Senior Government Project (SGP) the Centre for Conflict Resolution ( CCR) and believe that the work there contributes to organising for peace.

Conflict resolution work takes place in varying contexts : where there is very little security ( ie communities at war and in violent conflict), where there is a developing security ( communities in transition ) and where there is a fairly developed human security ( communities with established institutions and who exercise their human rights and experience human development, communities at peace). These stages of insecurity or security are often characterised by dominant approaches to conflict resolution work:

Societies at War : peacemaking, peace enforcement

Societies in Transition : peacekeeping, peace-building

Societies at Peace : Peace-building and Development

Many of us approach capacity building work ( mainly aimed at training, skills development and increasing understanding) believing it has intrinsic value and it does. At the level of the individual, one gains new information, has new insights on issues and makes some personal commitments and adjustments in the light of new knowledge or exposure to new experiences. This in itself is extremely valuable but is it sufficient? When skill and understanding moves individuals to act, exert human agency for change and impact situations to reap positive changes, it becomes extremely powerful. It is when this happens that we can really talk of capacity having being built. The proof is in the impact. It goes beyond the individual to impact groups and society.

To what extent do our efforts contribute to establishing the three freedoms in the promise of human security? At CCR we promote the goal of a just peace ie not merely the absence of war but a peace that meets the socio-economic and political needs of individuals and groups in society. We do this through capacity building, research and technical assistance in various projects that target communities, civil society actors and governments.

The Senior Government Conflict Resolution Programme was launched in 1997 with the purpose of meeting the needs of African government officials and diplomats in the prevention, management and resolution of conflict. The goal of the Senior Government Project is to build the capacity of government officials from a variety of departments in the theory and practice of conflict analysis, negotiation and conflict management with a particular focus on mediation. The objectives of the project are to help participants negotiate and manage conflict more constructively by developing an understanding of the dynamics of conflict within the context of intra and interstate conflict; learning and applying conceptual tools; and acquiring and using practical skills. In order to achieve the goal and objectives, the project has three components: training, research and technical cooperation.

Participants at our workshops have included ambassadors, brigadier general level of the departments of defence ( notably those who prepare peace-keeping units), legal advisors to mediators such as Masire, religious leaders who mediate nationally, parliamentarians, electoral commissioners, UN country agency staff including deputy resident representatives and programme staff and staff of international NGOs

We see capacity building and training as one step, usually the initial step, in a continuum of conflict resolution mechanisms that go to make up Intervention. Often the workshops lead to requests for facilitation of dialogue between groups on their deep-seated competing and conflicting issues and for advisory and consultancy on national peace process. We find that over the period of the workshops, trust is built between facilitators and participants. For us as facilitators this underscores the point that information sharing, understanding of the processes of negotiation and mediation, engaging in exercises that raise consciousness and develops an awareness of the qualities that lead to effective negotiator and mediator behaviour, creates a foundation for dialogue.

Gender work at CCR is mainstreamed in the Senior Government Project. We do not have a funded Gender/Women's Programme. At many of our meetings with funders they say all the right things about gender equality commitments, women's amazing abilities to build peace, the valiant struggles against cultural obstacles to their participation etc but do not open their coffers to scrutiny against indicators for gender equality…so we commit to gender work here at CCR but do not have a FUNDED Gender Project.

We work with both UNIFEM and UNDAW in their efforts to build capacity and constantly strategise with peace networks on the continent on how to get in, influence and sensitize national negotiation process to include women at the table as equals. This co-labouring has proved an effective way for us at CCR as an organisation to meet our gender commitments in the absence of a funded CCR programme. It has also at a personal level, enabled feminists here at CCR to keep our activism alive.

In working with women we prepare them to read situations in the context of the prevailing "Realpolitk paradigm as well as challenge this paradigm. We encourage them to bring an element of SUPRISE to traditional ways of engaging in peace making processes .This is encouraged by supporting them to honour their experiences, experiment with 'their inner voices" or intuition, to think out of the box as it were and see what they can bring that comes from a deep yearning for peace and innovation. We prepare them to understand the tricks and ploys used in negotiation processes AND to create new ways for working. Creation is possible based on the belief that they have radical choice .

We employ the following approaches to training:

  • A consciousness raising approach that includes a gendered reading of the impact of war. We offer some shock and graphic examples that underscore the need for gendered analysis in planning, designing and implementing peace processes. For example we talk in polite and diplomatic circles about what it actually means not to have sanitary pads because of conflict raging in Zimbabwe or what this means if UN agencies don't provide for this in their emergency planning. Basically we attempt to bring the very personal in contact with the highly mediated international and foreign relations theory.
  • A technicist approach : here we focus on skills or the craft of negotiating and mediating and consider the ways in which structuring and administrating a peace process can facilitate resolution.
  • A Modeling approach : here the critical reflections of African negotiators and mediators are shared with participants drawing out lessons on process, skill and qualities of negotiators and mediators. We model women's capability by ensuring that we have women expert resource persons present on our courses . Trainers follow a code of ethics that underpin good conflict resolution practice such as inclusivity, respect, encouraging people to view "not understanding" as an ally rather than a foe by normalising the phrase "'I don't understand", and we encourage and honour risk taking etc.

As indicated earlier, besides capacity building through training, the SGP offers technical support, research, lobbying on policy issues in the area of conflict management and prevention. CCR has a panel of skilled senior associates who have offered facilitation and mediation in a number conflicts in Africa notably, Burundi, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Lesotho, South Africa, Zimbabwe to name a few.

On the publishing of this report, the SGP would look to partnerships and collaborative efforts that allow for durable peace to be built. Anyone interest in an African Campaign?


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